Battles' John Stanier, Ian Williams, and Dave Konopka always sound psyched to play together, but never more so than on their first entirely instrumental album, La Di Da Di. While vocals – first provided by Tyondai Braxton on their early work and by a host of collaborators on 2011's Gloss Drop – might have seemed necessary to humanize their experimentation, they're not missed on the band's third full-length. If anything, removing them gives the trio's ideas to generate sparks the way they did on Mirrored (particularly on "Tricentennial," which recalls the mischievous alien anthems of their debut) while keeping Gloss Drop's immediacy. Battles' mix of muscular drums and riffs and heady melodies and electronics has never sounded so liberated, whether on "The Yabba," a thrilling seven-minute excursion that sounds more like seven one-minute songs strung together, or on the relatively serene "Luu Le," which uses the same amount of time to close the album with a sun-dappled suite. Here and throughout La Di Da Di, the band sounds mercurial but not chaotic, with an interplay that ebbs and flows like creativity itself.
In the dynamic lectures of The Decisive Battles of World History, Professor Gregory S. Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay guides you in a discovery of the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of historical events and shaping our world. Covering nearly 4,000 years of history, this course explores more than three dozen history-making military engagements, from the landmark battles of the Western world to their counterparts across Asia, India, and the Middle East. These 36 lectures feature vital historical background, vivid accounts of the campaigns themselves, and a thorough look at their influence on the unfolding of history.